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Apple’s new update breaks EU apps + more | Median Minute

Welcome to the latest edition of the Median Minute, a semi-frequent series scannable in one minute, powered by the team at, and built for you.

TL;DR: In this edition (our ⏰ February Edit): We cover Apple’s latest update for the EU region — including its ceasing of support for PWAs in the EU. We also take a knee and pay homage to Super Bowl LVIII's impressive app marketing ads, share some AI updates from Google, and ring the alarm on how a QR code scam has taken over parking lots. Finally, we give you a handy breakdown of how a well-crafted app store description is pretty key to ranking higher in the app stores. Let’s leap in.

💡FEATURED STORY: Apple’s new EU updates: Will your PWA work in the EU? 

Progressive web apps are breaking for iOS users in the EU.

As it turns out — it’s not a bug. Apple announced a new update that ceases support for PWAs in the EU in an attempt to align with the strict requirements of the Digital Markets Act. To better understand the story and its potential impact on your own app efforts, let’s tackle some pressing FAQs:

What exactly are PWAs? 

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are apps delivered through the web, using web technologies including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WebAssembly.

What is the Digital Markets Act?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is an EU regulation that applies to large online platforms operating in the European marketplace. The main reason for its existence is to ensure a fairer digital market environment by adding constraints to large online platforms that may otherwise act as gatekeepers and reduce competition.

The DMA’s strict guidelines were the deciding factor behind Apple’s latest updates.

What is Apple’s new update? 

Apple’s new iOS update (17.4) is set to be released in March 2024, and will cease support for PWAs in the EU region. Apple has decided to not invest in supporting PWAs going forward, due to the complexities PWAs carry, coupled with the demands of the DMA. 

What does this mean for your Median web app? 

Good news: apps created with Median’s App Studio will not be affected! Why? Median-built apps, including those powered by PWAs, are full-feature native apps that are published to the Apple App Store. They don’t rely on the “Install to Home Screen” PWA functionality that Apple will no longer support.

Is this the end for PWAs on iOS in the EU? 

We can’t say for sure — but a recent update on this situation suggests that the European Commission has sent Apple and app developers “questions” about this new policy. A spokesperson for the European Commission stated that they are looking at the compliance package of all gatekeepers including Apple and are seeking more information, especially related to PWAs under the new policy. 

Take a closer look at what Apple’s new update means for your web app — and how Median can help — our latest blog: Apple’s new update breaks iPhone PWAs in the EU: How does this affect your web app?

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🗞️Apps in the news: February edit

Whether it's the Super Bowl’s app-powered ads, Google Play’s Gemini expansion, or app marketing strategies, we’ve been glued to these mobile app news stories this month.

The Google Play Store’s latest update: Delete app accounts with ease

Creating app accounts on The Google Play Store is just half of the battle. The real challenge is deleting app accounts on the platform. That’s why Google Play now offers an easier way for developers and users to delete app accounts. This exciting new feature comes with the February 2024 Google System Update which comes with a newer Play Store version — the v39.7 — and allows users to request account and data deletion through a direct link to the developer’s website. This thankfully make the deletion process much easier with just a click. 

Doubling down on AI:  Google expands its AI chatbot app Gemini to more regions

The Google Gemini app — previously known as Bard, Google’s AI chatbot – has now expanded to more regions including Canada, Latin America, Africa, and Asia Pacific. This is a great expansion considering how everyone already loves the Google Assistant, Gemini is similar to Google Assistant – If you do decide to download the Gemini App, it is worth noting that the app will replace your Google Assistant app. Google also confirmed that they are working hard to expand the Gemini app to Europe in the near future.

Shopaholics assemble: Shopping app Temu and Microsoft’s AI chatbot, Copilot, top the charts with latest Super Bowl ads

Two new but already popular apps, Temu and Microsoft’s AI chatbot, Copilot, increase download rates after their groundbreaking superbowl ads that aired during the big game. App marketing done at its finest, Super Bowl’s commercial ad spots are the top spots for ads on TV — Temu is the sixth most popular app on the Google Play Store.

Can Beyonce break the internet AND the Verizon app: Mobile marketing done right

With Verizon on the rise, a strategic partnership is what they needed to elevate their brand. In a Super Bowl ad featuring Beyonce – Beyonce tried to break the internet and the Verizon by releasing two new songs – 16 Carriages and Texas Hold ‘Em – and announced her latest country album – Renaissance: Part 2 – but Verizon came out strong and showed the audience that their network is too strong to be broken. This type of mobile marketing is trendy and has reached millions of people around the world, making this type of celebrity endorsed mobile marketing the new go to app marketing strategy that all big apps must learn from.

Another app-optimized Superbowl ad of note? This one from Duolingo, that coordinated push notifications to be sent while their 5-second spot aired — sent to “95% of eligible learners within 3.9 seconds, and 99% within 5.7 seconds of the ad airing” to be exact (that’s quite the audience reach!).

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Updates, updates, updates: EU iOS developers can now start testing alternative app stores

Apple’s new update to meet the DMA requirements in EU has expanded to include the submission of alternative app stores and external apps using the App Store Connect for developers in the EU. This new update comes with over 600 new APIs for developers to pull from for the new App Store features. Some of the features that EU developers can use are: alternative browser engines, alternative payment service providers, and external linking — expanding options that go beyond Apple’s ecosystem.

Microsoft is adding touch controls to the mobile Xbox apps

Gamers: unplug your wireless controllers! Microsoft is adding touch controls to its Android and iOS Xbox apps. This new feature will allow touch controls, giving players the ability to use their touchscreen controls to play games on their smartphones or even tablets. An X (formerly Twitter) post by Xbox Wire points out that with an Android, iOS, or Windows device, you can use custom touch control layouts on more than a hundred games, but a basic touch control layout will be available for most other games.

That chirping sound you heard on Facebook: It’s not your imagination

Facebook users noticed a chirping sound while using the app, especially when they refreshed the page. Meta confirmed that the chirping sound was a technical error as part of bug on their end. Don’t worry though: if you’re still hearing it, take these steps to mute it: Go to “Settings & Privacy”, then select Settings. Then, go to “Media” and under “Sounds,” mute or turn off “In-App-Sounds” — this will instantly mute the sound meant for the birds.

QR code scans, or QR code scams?: Fraud on the rise in parking lots and gas stations

A new QR code scam has surfaced and is targeting parking lots. It involves the covering up of QR codes on parking meters, or at gas stations, with a fake code that leads directly to the scammer's bank account. In today’s digital world, QR codes are all-pervasive, and using them is virtually unavoidable, so make sure you always double check that the ones you use are legit — especially when there's a transaction of any sort involved.

In the 👀 of the beholder: How age, gender, and nationality alters one’s perception of emojis

An interesting new emoji study shows they’re not perceived the same way by everyone. The study suggests that one’s age, gender, and nationality are all defining factors when it comes to interpreting an emoji. One finding was that women visually match an intended emotion of an emoji to that of a real-life emotion (for instance, women usually perceive a happy face emoji to happiness). Men, on the other hand, do not. The research suggests that the reason behind this is that women make more eye contact than others. Draw your own conclusions, and read more about this study here.

📱Anatomy of an App: App store descriptions

While an app’s features, user experience, performance and speed, and visual elements such as screenshots, icons and app splash screens are important for its success, an app store description is equally as important if not more. 

So, what’s an app store description?

Think of it as the description that tells people what your app is about. They’re important because they help your app be found, and make the case for users to download and devote time to your app.

How do you write a solid app store description?

Remember, your app store description's goal is to entice users with a good value proposition that will turn into downloads. Beyond that, a good description should consist of concise yet informative paragraphs, followed by all the necessary details about your app’s features, benefits, and X-factors. Make sure to use easy-to-understand language and make sure your app store description is neither keyword-stuffed or nonsensical.

What role does app store optimization (ASO) play in app store descriptions?

Optimizing your description by regularly updating it is crucial in helping your app be seen. For instance, if your app introduces a new feature or service, or has fixed a bug, make sure to mention it. This minor updating effort will not only help you rank higher in app stores, but ensures users find you, and at least consider downloading your app.

Want to learn more about how app descriptions amplify your ASO efforts and how to write one? Get some practical tips in this recent article from Sidebar Magazine.



Stunning Stats: The number of downloads TikTok surpassed as of February 2024. See more stats at Statista.

📢Overheard @ Median

How can I turn my Shopify business into an app? - OVERHEARD @ MEDIAN

We have been getting this question a lot lately — and to address it, we have some exciting news to share.

We're thrilled to announce an exciting new integration between Median and Shopify — which means Shopify merchants can turn their existing Shopify businesses into full-feature native mobile apps that will drive both revenue and engagement with customers. 

Full-feature native apps built with Median can seamlessly integrate e-commerce-first functionalities like push notifications, analytics tools, NFC, iBeacon, QR/barcode scanning, and much more.

Compared to traditional native app development, Median's App Studio platform, plus support services, streamlines the app-launch as well as ongoing maintenance. The result is a higher quality, more advanced app for less effort and cost. - Samantha Mehra

An exciting new integration indeed. Learn more about Median’s integration with Shopify here.

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Time’s up (for now)! 

We’re here to help you make sense of all things mobile. Have specific questions? Get in touch with us here, or visit our website.

Wishing everyone a successful rest of the year!

– The Median Team

*DISCLAIMER: This content is provided solely for informational purposes. It is not exhaustive and may not be relevant for your requirements. While we have obtained and compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, we cannot and do not guarantee its accuracy. This content is not to be considered professional advice and does not form a professional relationship of any kind between you and LLC or its affiliates. is the industry-leading end-to-end solution for developing, publishing, and maintaining native mobile apps for iOS and Android powered by web content. When considering any technology vendor we recommend that you conduct detailed research and “read the fine print” before using their services.*
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